1. Impact is about making a difference, offering an outcome that matters.
2. Healthy high-performance teams understand how their work contributes to larger organizational goals.
3. As you work to power up every team you’re on, be sure to help everyone involved understand their impact, their place in the system, and their power to make a difference on something bigger than themselves.
We’ve arrived at the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to healthy high-performance teams. That piece is impact, which is all about the results of your work. Impact is about making a difference, offering an outcome that matters.
Teams need to understand how their work contributes to larger organizational goals. It’s incredibly inspiring to be able to see in advance where the part (project) fits into the whole (mission of the organization). And it’s personally motivating to take steps that have an impact on a cause larger than the self. It’s similar to aligning your daily habits and choices with your dreams. That’s living with impact.
When I think of Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip, I think of impact. Gord was always very private, but he was very public about his diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. And he decided to do a final tour with the Hip all across the country. In the encore of the final concert, he really unleashed his emotions. He went right into his pain, right into his suffering, and expressed it all on stage. He went to a place he’s never been before in order to capture the entire country’s attention, with 13 million people watching that final concert on television.
But it wasn’t all about him or the music or the band. He wanted to say something in that stadium at the final concert with Prime Minister Trudeau in attendance and a huge audience across the country. He wanted people to tune in and pay attention for a reason. Standing on the stage between encores, he talked about our painful history as a nation that we need to address. He talked about the genocide we’ve perpetuated on our First Nations and Indigenous people. He wanted the country to understand the consequences of the past, and he laid the responsibility of addressing it at the feet of the Prime Minister, who nodded in that moment. Then he went on to finish the concert. You can see on Gord’s face how much it mattered him to finish his life as a musician in this way.
To have an impact on something that matters is a powerful motivator in life and on teams. As you work to power up every team you’re on, be sure to help everyone involved understand their impact, their place in the system, their power to make a difference.
Here, again, are the fab five elements of a healthy high-performance team: clarity, psychological safety, dependability, meaning and impact.
Remember the finding of Google’s Project Aristotle: it’s not who you have on a team, it’s how the team functions. It’s the team’s “communal health,” not its talent, credentials or experience. It’s how they view their task and one another. Those five elements can be alive and well on any team. If they are, great things are possible.
Finally, keep in mind that the five elements build mental health. If they drive us at work and in our personal lives, we’ll have more joy and greater psychological and emotional wellbeing. Our teams win, and so do we.
Today's POWER UP: Identify your Potential Impact
This final piece of the puzzle of how to create healthy high-performance teams is being aware of the impact that success will have. This impact can be on you, your family, your teammates, your clients, your students, the country, or even the world.
I have discovered that my mission in my professional life is to help 1 billion people be healthier and to reach their potential. In my family life I seek to have a positive impact on the lives of my children.
Knowing what the potential impact of your team work is can be powerfully motivating for the members of your team. More importantly it can make people happy and content despite the challenges that often accompany trying to make a difference in the world.
Knowing what your desired impact is can also help you keep going despite obstacles and failures.
So what is the impact that you seek to make in the world? Make sure that you get this written down and share it at every opportunity.